Nature protection and biodiversity - Why care? (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
- Nature and biodiversity
Brief overview of the abundance of biological diversity
The abundance of ecosystems, habitats, communities and species places the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at the very top of the list of countries with impressive biodiversity in Europe (‘hot spot’). Based on the available scientific research, it has been established that several ecosystem types are present in the Republic: wetland, shore, grassland, highland, steppe-like, forest and mountain, of which wetland, dryland/grassland, forest and mountainous are the key ecosystems. More than 260 flora communities have been recorded with dominance of grass and forest communities. Species diversity is represented by more than 16 000 taxa of wild flora, fungi and fauna. The fact that more than 900 regionally endemic species, among which 850 are truly endemic, exist in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is of particular importance.
Two bio-geographic regions can be distinguished: continental and Alpine, and one sub-region: sub-Mediterranean. Depending on the location and height above the sea level, eight climatic vegetation and soil zones are distinguished. Two areas are distinguished in the sub-Mediterranean belt: the sub-Mediterranean area – 50-500 metres above sea level (masl.) – covering a surface area of 800 000 ha and the continental sub-Mediterranean area – 501-600 masl – with an area of 97 000 ha, more 35 % of the sub-Mediterranean belt. Four areas are distinguished in the continental belt: the hot continental area of 601-900 masl with a surface area of 740 000 ha, 27.4 % of the total; the cold continental area of 901-1 100 masl with a surface area of 342 000 ha, 13.3 % of the total; the lowland mountainous area of 1 101-1 300 masl with a surface area of 250 000 ha, 9.7 of the total; and the mountainous continental area of 1 301-1 650 masl with an area of 269 000 ha, 10.4 % of the total. Two areas are distinguished in the Alpine belt: the sub-Alpine area of 1 651-2 250 masl with an area of 97 000 ha, 3.8 % of the belt and the Alpine mountainous area of more than 2 250 masl with an area of 13 000 ha, just 0.5 % of the total belt.